Home Store Products Research Design Strategy Support News
 Strategy Bonaparte at Marengo Sample Game

Bonaparte at Marengo
Sample Game

played between
Dick Jarvinen (French)
and
George Fagin (Austrians)
Article editorial assistance by
Garry Haggerty

Designer's Comment.

Normally the article summary comes from the authors of the article, however, in this case, I thought it best to write the summary myself. For a long time, I resisted including an article such as this on the website as I felt that one of the great pleasures of Bonaparte at Marengo is learning the game yourself and experiencing those "Ah-ha!" moments of understanding. Learning the game through an article like this must necessarily deprive the reader of that experience. Still, I have also noticed that some people never learn the game at all because the number of novel elements is so great that it overwhelms them, leaving them uncertain as to how to move even the first piece on the first turn. Reading this article can help with that. I have also noticed some people who have had their experience ruined through rules misunderstandings. Reading this article can help with that too. In the end, I thought it best to leave it to readers to make their own judgements as to whether or not an article like this is for them. The authors worked hard to prepare this article, and I am rather ashamed to admit I did not publish it nearly as promptly as I should have; I suppose it was only when the prospect of publishing it was actually at hand that I realized just how conflicted my feelings on this subject were. In any case here it is (finally).

Bowen Simmons

Introduction.

This game was from round 3 of the 2006 Bonaparte at Marengo PBEM (Cyberboard) tournament between George Fagin, who played the Austrians, and Dick Jarvinen, who played the French. In keeping with the tournament rules, sides were selected by a morale auction. Dick Jarvinen won the auction with a bid of French 15 (meaning that he got to play the French, but at a starting morale of 15 rather than the normal 17). The game ended at 6:00PM, with a French resignation.

The game is depicted using a series of labelled illustrations. Austrian turns are on the left and French turns are on the right. Generally there is one illustration for each Austrian turn and one for each French turn, but the more complex turns are represented by two illustrations. As mentioned, this game was played online, and the illustrations are based on the Cyberboard game box that was used to play the game.

Commentary on the game is minimal. Beneath each illustration is a set of letter-coded bullets that describe what is happening for each move and attack depicted. Totally missing from the text is any sense of WHY each move was made: what it was expected to achieve, what was planned for different enemy counter-moves or what alternatives to the move was considered. The problem of understanding the reasons why the moves were made has been intentionally left as an exercise for the reader.

The Game.

French Initial Deployment
Austrian Turn, 6AM French Turn, 6AM
Austrian 6AM Turn
  1. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road through 1 and 2, and enters 5 reserve (cp).
  2. 2-cav reinforcement moves by road through 1 and enters 2 reserve.
  3. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1 reserve.
  4. Artillery reinforcement moves by bridge to 1 reserve (cp).
French 6AM Turn
  1. Note 1: French units in 3, 4 and 9 are all activated automatically.
  2. Note 2: The French activate the 2-cav in 7.
  1. Activated 2-cav in 7 moves to 3 (cp).
  2. Activated 2-inf in 4 moves to 7 (cp).
Austrian Turn, 7AM French Turn, 7AM
Austrian 7AM Turn
  1. Austrian 2-cav in 2 manevuer attacks along road to area 3.
  2. One French unit blocks.
  3. Austrian 2-cav enters the approach.
  4. 2 units in 1 move to 2 (cp).
  5. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road through 1 and 2, and enters 5 reserve (cp).
  6. 2-Cav reinforcement moves by road through 1 and enters 2 reserve.
  7. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1 reserve.
  8. 2-inf reinforcement moves by bridge to 1 reserve (cp).
French 7AM Turn
  1. 2-inf in 3 moves by road to 6.
  2. 2-cav in 3/2 approach reserve falls back to reserve (cp).
Austrian Turn, 8AM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 8AM
Austrian 8AM Turn, Part 1
  1. Both units in 5 maneuver attack 9 (cp).
  2. One French 2-inf blocks.
  3. Austrians enter the approach.
  4. 2-inf in 2 moves by road to 4.
  5. 2-cav in 2/3 approach maneuver attacks (cp).
  6. French 2-cav retreats to 6.
  7. Austrian 2-cav continues to 3/7 approach.
French 8AM Turn
  1. Note 1: French units in 7 and 8 are activated automatically.
  2. Note 2: Two units in 23 are activated due to Austrians in French start areas.
  1. Two activated units in 23 move to 14 (cp).
  2. One 2-inf in 7 enters 7/3 approach (cp).
  3. 2-inf in 6 moves by road to 11.
Austrian Turn, 8AM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 8AM Turn, Part 2
  1. H. Artillery in 2 moves by road to 3.
  2. I. 2-cav in 2 moves by road to 4.
  3. J. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 4.
  4. K. 2-cav reinforcement moves by road to 3 and continues to 3/6 approach.
  5. L. 2-cav reinforcement moves by road through 1 and enters 2 reserve.
  6. M. 3-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1 reserve.
  7. N. 2-inf reinforcement moves by bridge to 1 reserve (cp).
Austrian Turn, 9AM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 9AM
Austrian 9AM Turn, Part 1
  1. A 2-inf in 5/9 assaults (cp). French 2-inf is reduced to 1, and Austrian 2-inf is eliminated. Morale A14 F14.
  2. The two 2-inf units in 4 maneuver attack 8 (cp). One of the 2-inf units is revealed.
  3. French unit blocks.
  4. The Austrians enter the approach.
  5. 2-cav in 2 moves along road to 3 and maneuver attacks 6.
  6. French 2-cav is revealed and retreats to 11.
  7. Austrian 2-cav enters 6 and maneuver attacks again.
  8. The French shuffle their units, and block with the 2-inf (the Austrians don't know which unit blocked).
  9. 2-cav continues to the 6/11 approach.
French 9AM Turn
  1. Note: French units in 16 and 64 are activated.
  1. 2-cav in 64 moves by road to 35.
  2. 3-inf in 16 moves by minor road to 37 (cp).
  3. 2-inf in 9 moves by minor road to 38 (cp).
  4. Both units in 14 move to 7 (cp).
Austrian Turn, 9AM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 9AM Turn, Part 2
  1. J. 2-cav in 4 maneuver attacks 7 (cp).
  2. K. French unit blocks.
  3. L. Austrian enters the approach.
  4. M. 2-inf 1 moves by road to 4.
  5. N. 3-inf in 1 moves by road to 3.
  6. O. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 2.
  7. P. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  8. Q. 2-cav reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  9. R. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  10. S. 2-cav in 3/6 approach falls back to reserve.
Austrian Turn, 10AM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 10AM
Austrian 10AM Turn, Part 1
  1. One 2-inf in 4/8 approach assaults (cp). The 2-inf is destroyed, and the defending French 2-inf is reduced to 1. Morale A12 F13.
  2. Unit in 4 maneuver attacks 9 (cp). 1-inf in 9/5 approach is killed. Morale A12 F12.
  3. All three units in 3 enter 3/7 approach (cp).
  4. 2-inf in 2 moves by road to 4.
French 10AM Turn
  1. 2-inf in 7/4 approach pulls back to reserve (cp).
  2. 2-inf in 7/3 approach pulls back to reserve (cp).
  3. 3-inf in 23 moves to 32 (cp).
  4. 2-cav in 35 moves by road to 15.
  5. 3-inf in 37 moves by road to 25.
Austrian Turn, 10AM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 10AM Turn, Part 2
  1. E. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 4.
  2. F. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 4.
  3. G. 2-cav in 1 moves by road to 2.
  4. H. 2-cav reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  5. I. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  6. J. 3-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  7. K. 2-inf in 5/9 approach falls back to reserve.
  8. L. Artillery in 3/6 approach declares bombardment.
Austrian Turn, 11AM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 11AM
Austrian 11AM Turn, Part 1
  1. Artillery bombards.
  2. French 2-inf is reduced to 1. Morale A12 F11.
  3. 2-cav in 4/7 approach maneuver attacks into 7 (cp).
  4. French 1-inf is eliminated. Morale A12 F10.
  5. The other three French units are revealed and retreat to 13.
  6. Austrian unit is revealed as a 2-cav and continues to 7/13 approach.
  7. Three units in 4 move to 7 (cp).
  8. 2-inf in 9 is revealed and maneuver attacks into 8 (cp). French 1-inf in 8/4 is eliminated. Morale A12 F9.
French 11AM Turn
  1. 3-inf in 25 moves by road to 45.
  2. 2-inf in 38 moves by road to 35.
  3. 2-cav in 15 moves by road to 25.
  4. 3-inf in 32 moves to 31 (cp).
  5. 2-inf in 13 moves by minor road to 21 (cp).
  6. Two units in 13 move to 22 (cp).
Austrian Turn, 11AM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 11AM Turn, Part 2
  1. I. 2-cav in 2 moves by road to 8.
  2. J. 3-inf in 1 moves by road to 3.
  3. K. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 3.
  4. L. 2-cav in 1 moves by road to 2.
  5. M. 3-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  6. N. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 1.
  7. O. Units in 3/7 fall back to reserve.
  8. P. Unit in 4/8 falls back to reserve.
Austrian Turn, 12PM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 12PM
Austrian 12PM Turn, Part 1
  1. 2-inf in 8 moves by minor road to 34 (cp).
  2. 2-cav in 8 moves by road to 15 and maneuver attacks 25.
  3. French 2-cav retreats to 35, and Austrian remains in 25 reserve.
  4. 2-inf in 5 moves by minor road to 27 (cp).
  5. 2-inf in 4 moves by road to 8.
French 12PM Turn
  1. 3-inf in 45 moves by road to 64.
  2. 2-inf in 35 moves by road to 55.
  3. 2-inf in 11/6 falls back to reserve.
  4. 3-inf reinforcement moves by road to 52.
  5. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 53.
Austrian Turn, 12PM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 12PM Turn, Part 2
  1. F. 2-cav in 2 moves by road to 15.
  2. G. 2-cav in 3 moves by road to 6.
  3. H. 2-inf in 1 moves by road to 6.
  4. I. 3-inf in 1 moves by road to 4.
  5. J. Remaining 5 units in 3 move to 7 (cp).
  6. K. 2-cav in 7/13 falls back to reserve.
Austrian Turn, 1PM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 1PM
Austrian 1PM Turn, Part 1
  1. Unit in 6/11 approach maneuver attacks (cp).
  2. French 2-inf is reduced to 1, and along with French 2-cav retreats to 19.
  3. Austrian reveals itself as 2-cav and enters 11/19 approach. Morale A12 F8.
  4. 2-cav in 15 moves by road to 25 and maneuver attacks 35.
  5. French 2-cav retreats to 45.
  6. Austrian makes another maneuver attack.
  7. French unit blocks.
  8. Austrian enters 35/45 approach.
French 1PM Turn
  1. 2-cav in 45/35 approach pulls back to reserve (cp).
  2. 2-cav in 19/11 approach pulls back to reserve (cp).
  3. 3-inf in 31 moves by road to 42.
  4. 2-inf in 22 moves by road to 31.
  5. 2-inf in 21 moves by road to 42.
  6. 1-inf in 19 moves by road to 22.
  7. 2-inf in 55 moves by road to 64.
Austrian Turn, 1PM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 1PM Turn, Part 2
  1. I. 2-cav in 6 moves by road to 11 and maneuver attacks 19.
  2. J. French 2-cav blocks, and Austrian remains in reserve. (French shuffled before block, so Austrian doesn't know which unit did so.)
  3. K. 2-inf in 6 moves by road to 11.
  4. L. 2-cav in 25 moves by road to 35.
  5. M. 2-inf in 27 moves by road to 25.
  6. N. Unit in 8 moves by road to 35.
  7. O. 3-inf in 4 moves by road to 25.
  8. P. 2-inf in 7 moves by minor road to 34 (cp).
  9. Q. All 8 units in 7 move to 13 (cp).
Austrian Turn, 2PM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 2PM
Austrian 2PM Turn, Part 1
  1. 2-cav in 11 moves by road and maneuver attacks 19.
  2. French 2-cav retreats to 30.
  3. Austrian 2-cav attacks again.
  4. French unit blocks.
  5. Austrian continues to the 19/30 approach.
  6. 7 units in 13 maneuver attack 22 (cp).
  7. French 1-inf blocks (Austrians don't know which unit).
  8. Austrians enter the approach.
  9. 2 units in 34 move to 44 (cp).
  10. 2-cav in 35 moves by road and maneuver attacks 45.
  11. French 2-cav retreats to 55.
  12. Austrian 2-cav makes another maneuver attack.
  13. This time the French cav blocks.
  14. Austrian cav continues to the 45/55 approach.
French 2PM Turn
  1. 2-cav in 19/30 pulls back to reserve (cp).
  2. 2-cav in 22/21 pulls back to reserve (cp).
  3. 1-inf in 22/13 pulls back to reserve (cp).
  4. 3-inf in 42 moves by road to 52.
Austrian Turn, 2PM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 2PM Turn, Part 2
  1. O. 2-inf in 35 moves by road to 45.
  2. P. 3-inf in 25 move by road to 45.
  3. Q. 2-inf in 25 move by road to 45.
  4. R. 2-cav in 13 moves by minor road to 21 and manuever attacks 22 (cp).
  5. S. French unit blocks.
  6. T. Austrian 2-cav enters 21/22 approach.
  7. U. 2-inf in 11 moves by road to 19.
  8. V. 2-cav in 11/19 falls back to reserve.
  9. W. 2-cav in 35/45 falls back to reserve.
  10. X. Artillery in 13/22 approach declares bombardment.
Austrian Turn, 3PM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 3PM
Austrian 3PM Turn, Part 1
  1. Bombardment cancelled.
  2. 2-cav in 45/55 approach assaults (cp). Both the Austrian 2-cav and the defending French 2-cav are reduced to 1, and Austrian falls back to reserve. Morale A11 F7.
  3. All units in 13/22 maneuver attack (cp).
  4. French 1-inf eliminated, and French 2-cav retreats to 31. Morale A11 F6.
  5. 2-cav in 11 moves by road to 19 and maneuver attacks 30.
  6. French 2-cav retreats to 41.
  7. Austrian 2-cav makes another maneuver attack.
  8. French 2-cav blocks.
  9. Austrian 2-cav enters the 30/41 approach.
French 3PM Turn
  1. 1-cav in 55/45 pulls back to reserve (cp).
  2. 2-cav in 41/30 pulls back to reserve (cp).
  3. 2-inf in 53 moves by road to 64.
  4. 3-inf in 52 moves by road to 53.
  5. 2-inf in 42 moves by road to 53.
  6. 2-inf in 31 moves by road to 52.
Austrian Turn, 3PM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 3PM Turn, Part 2
  1. J. 2-inf in 19 moves by road to 30.
  2. K. 2-cav in 35 moves by road to 45, and continues to 45/55 approach.
  3. L. Two units in 44 move to 54 (cp).
  4. M. 2-cav in 21/22 falls back to reserve.
  5. N. 2-cav in 19/30 falls back to reserve.
Austrian Turn, 4PM French Turn, 4PM
Austrian 4PM Turn
  1. 2-cav in 22 moves by road and maneuver attacks 31.
  2. French 2-cav retreats to 42.
  3. Austrian 2-cav makes another maneuver attack.
  4. French 2-cav blocks.
  5. Austrian 2-cav enters the 31/42 approach.
  6. 2-cav in 19 moves by road to 30 and maneuver attacks 41.
  7. French 2-cav retreats to 50.
  8. Austrian 2-cav continues moving along road to 49.
  9. 2-inf in 30 moves by road to 41.
  10. One 2-inf in 54 maneuver attacks 64 (cp).
  11. French 3-inf blocks.
  12. Austrian 2-inf enters the approach.
  13. 3-inf in 22 moves by road to 31.
  14. Artillery in 22 moves by road to 31.
  15. 2-cav in 21 moves by road to 22.
  16. 2-cav in 45/55 maneuver attacks (cp).
  17. French 1-cav retreats to 64.
  18. Austrian 2-cav continues to the 55/64 approach.
  19. 2-inf in 45 move by road to 55.
  20. 3-inf in 45 move by road to 55.
  21. 2-inf in 45 move by road to 55.
  22. 2-cav in 30/41 falls back to reserve.
  23. 2-inf in 54 enters 54/53 approach (cp).
French 4PM Turn
  1. Two units in 64 enter 64/55 approach (cp).
  2. 2-inf in 53 enters 53/54 approach (cp).
  3. 2-cav in 50 moves by minor road to 60 (cp).
  4. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 64.
  5. Artillery reinforcement moves by road to 63.
  6. 3-inf reinforcement moves by road to 66.
Austrian Turn, 5PM (in two parts: part one) French Turn, 5PM
Austrian 5PM Turn, Part 1
  1. 2-cav in 31/42 assaults and is reduced to 1 and retreats to reserve (cp). French 2-cav is also reduced to 1 and stays in place. Morale A10 F5.
  2. 3 units in 55 enter 55/64 approach (cp).
  3. Artillery in 31 enters 31/42 approach (cp).
French 5PM Turn
  1. 2-cav in 60 moves by minor road to 42 (cp).
  2. Two units in 52 move to 61 (cp).
  3. 3-inf in 53 moves by road to 52.
  4. Artillery in 63 moves by road to 52.
  5. 3-inf in 66 moves by road to 53.
  6. 2-inf reinforcement moves by road to 64.
Austrian Turn, 5PM (in two parts: part two)
Austrian 5PM Turn, Part 2
  1. D. 3-inf in 22 moves by road to 31.
  2. E. 2-inf in 22 moves by road to 31.
  3. F. 2-cav in 22 moves by road to 31.
  4. G. 2-inf in 41 moves by road to 65.
  5. H. 2-cav in 30 moves by road to 41.
  6. I. Artillery in 31/42 approach declares bombardment.
Austrian Turn, 6PM (at start) Austrian Turn, 6PM (at point of French resignation)
Austrian 6PM Turn
  1. Artillery bombards. French 1-cav is killed. Morale A10 F4.
  2. 2-inf in 54/53 assaults and is killed (cp). French 2-inf is reduced to 1. Morale A8 F3.
  3. 2-inf in 54/64 assaults and is killed (cp). French 3-inf is reduced to 2. Morale A6 F2.
  4. 2-cav (only) in 55/64 assaults and is killed (cp). French 2-inf is reduced to 1. Morale A4 F1.
French 6PM Turn
  1. Conclusion: French player resigns before the Austrians complete movement.

Conclusion.

The Austrian victory in this game is of course partly the result of the French player having given up 2 morale points in order to play the French. It is necessarily speculative to consider what might have happened had the French had those two morale points back, but unless the morale change was accompanied by some deeper and more extensive revisions to the French line of play, the game still would likely have ended in an Austrian victory. With the French line of play as it was, the Austrians were able to give up 6 morale points to inflict a loss of 3 on the French on the 6PM turn, but they did not have to do so: they could instead have used the additional time remaining in the game to set up attacks at a more favorable loss ratio and thereby achieve a French demoralization at a later time in the game.

About the Players

Dick Jarvinen, the French player in the above game, is the man behind the Bonaparte at Marengo Ladder and Bonaparte at Marengo tournament. He has been a contributing editor to the magazines The General, S&T, Fire & Movement (among others).

George Fagin, the Austrian player in the above game, is (at the time of this writing) currently at the top of the Bonaparte at Marengo Ladder and is contending for the title in the Bonaparte at Marengo tournament. He is married and the father of four grown children.

Garry Haggerty, who created the text and graphics for the above game, has played over 80 games of Bonaparte at Marengo, both online as well as face-to-face. He has been a wargamer since 1964.